We were moving to the next phase of our trip in New Zealand. Westland, the most sparsely populated district would be our next destination for next 2-3 days. The southern alps next to the Tasman sea with temperate rainforest is strikingly similar to our western ghats. But with snow clad mountains and glacier, it can be considered as a mix of western ghats and Himalayas!!
|Snow clad mountains of westland|
The first part of the journey was to retrace the path to Queenstown. The Wakapitu lake was again our companion for a good part of the drive. It required several stops as the lake was looking spectacular in the early morning. Tanu felt that it was time to get some portraits for her.
|Tanu at Wakatipu lake|
|Switchbacks at Crown range road|
|At Crown range road lookout|
It was time to stop at one of the lookouts for lunch. The place was mesmerizing. Each time, when we thought that we had seen enough of lakes, there would be another beautiful one!!
|Pristine lakes of New Zealand|
We were now at Makaroa, the last settlement before Haast. Between them was the Haast pass, one of the three passes that crossed over to Westland. It was completely a forest drive.
|Forests of Haast pass|
There were few places to stop on Haast pass. One of them blue pools. It was an easy 10-15 minutes walk that ended at the crystal clear water. We got the first “taste” of sandflies of Westland!! We had to be on alert to ensure that we had no bites.
We did a quick stop at Fantail falls. It was just two minutes walk.
Haast seemed to be smaller than the normal village in India!! Our place of stay “Bay road motel” was 15 km further from Haast. It was completely away from all the civilization. It was the most isolated place we stayed in New Zealand.
|Our hotel at haast|
We made a visit to Haast beach in the evening. We had to cross a small private farm before reaching the beach. A sheep was peacefully grazing in the field.
|Sheep at Haast|
Like many places in New Zealand, we were the only ones at the place!! Time to enjoy the solitude.